A Fresh New Look

First-time visitors won’t notice anything different, of course…but returning GodWords visitors will notice a huge design change for my website. When I’m not studying and posting on GodWords, I’m a freelance web designer. As a result, I’m able to make changes to my website(s) very easily. This design has been in the works for over a year. It isn’t just cosmetic…I’ve been creating a custom WordPress theme from scratch, making sure it does exactly what I want it to do. I haven’t finished (not that I’ll ever be finished) but figured it was ready for prime-time.

I’d love your feedback…especially if you have any trouble with the website. My goal is to make it useful for everyone. Thanks in advance for your help!

Tony

GodWords in Your Language

Thanks to the magic (technology) of Google Translate, readers can now see GodWords in many different languages! It’s fun to play around with it…look at the drop-down menu and choose a language. No automatic translator is perfect, but I hope that adding this feature to GodWords will help a lot more people than just the English version. I’m (sadly) monolingual, and I know that many GodWords visitors would be more comfortable reading in their native tongue. Please contact me if you have any questions.

google-translate

2012 Year-End Review

It’s time for another wrap-up…hard to believe it’s been another year already!

In 2012, GodWords welcomed a couple hundred thousand visitors, serving around a million web pages to people in almost every country and region of the world. Not bad for a little old website. I’m hoping that 2013 will be even more fruitful. I try to take seriously the opportunity to help people on the web, as evidenced by the many emails I’ve replied to this year. Here are last year’s goals:

  1. More blog posts
  2. A fresh redesign
  3. A small but helpful reorganizing
  4. Less politics (I think)
  5. More basic information about God, the Bible, Christianity
  6. Basic information about other religions

#1, check. Not enough, but some. #2 is on the way…I’ve spent a lot of time working on mobile design principles, so GodWords will work well on any device. #3 will come with the redesign. #4, check. #5, a little…but more is coming. #6, nope. More should be on the way in 2013.

I sincerely appreciate all of you GodWords readers. I especially like getting emails from those who disagree with me, as they’re an opportunity to make sure I know what I’m talking about. Humility is a very beneficial character trait, and you keep me humble.

I welcome any input you’d like to share, like

  • Questions that need answering
  • Information that needs researching
  • Suggestions on design, organization, etc.
  • Whatever comes to mind.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and join me on Facebook. I’m looking forward to an awesome 2013!

Year-End Review

2011 was a banner year for GodWords! Despite a distinct lack of new material (only about 20 new posts), traffic to GodWords during 2011 more than doubled. Most of it comes from search engines, which is no surprise. Being a web designer, it’s my job to understand how the web works.

I thought it was time that I looked at some stats about GodWords from a long-term perspective. I’ve been hosting this website on the same server since 2004, so I have access to traffic info from then until now. Surprisingly, more than 4 million people have visited since 2004! That might not seem like a lot when compared with sites like Google and Yahoo…but when you consider that I’ve only posted 20 articles in the past year, it seems like a miracle.

It also seems miraculous to look at the different countries you all visit from. Here’s a list:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaidjan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, European country, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, Former Czechoslovakia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe (French), Guam (USA), Guatemala, Guernsey, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire), Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia (French), New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Polynesia (French), Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Serbia, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts & Nevis Anguilla, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Samoa Islands, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tadjikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Unknown, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (USA), Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Yeah, that’s almost everyplace.

The most popular blog post? Surprisingly, it’s My Experience with Landmark Education. Don’t go there yet. Finish here first. =) I say it’s surprising because relatively few people have even heard of Landmark. I think that’s good, because I’m not a fan. Coming in second is the ever-popular Do You Have to be Baptized to go to Heaven?. That post also has the most comments. Drop in and look around if you’re so inclined.

Thank you very much for a prosperous 2011.

What’s coming in 2012?

  • More blog posts
  • A fresh redesign
  • A small but helpful reorganizing
  • Less politics (I think)
  • More basic information about God, the Bible, Christianity
  • Basic information about other religions

Be an Encourager

I’m a word guy.

I know a lot of words. I use a lot of words because I talk a lot, write a lot, and read a lot. Some people aren’t into words, and that’s okay. Some are into performing small acts of service for others, or giving gifts, and so on…but not me. I’m a Words of Affirmation person. When I want someone to feel good, I tend to use words to make the effort. When someone uses words to make me feel good, it probably means more to me than to, say, a person who’s into giving gifts. Because I’m a words person, criticism probably means more to me as well.

Unnecessary criticism can be very costly. I’m not talking about the kind of criticism that, when spoken in love, helps us become better people. I’m talking about the kind of criticism that’s designed simply to expose the flaws we see in each other. The kind of criticism that tends to be spoken out of our own selfishness. When we use our words to cut someone down, we usually make them feel bad about themselves…and about us. We endanger our relationships with criticism. We damage our children when we nitpick. Even unnecessarily correcting someone can hurt.

On the flip side, honest compliments are free. They don’t cost us anything to give, but they may be of unspeakable value to the person we compliment. Don’t hold back when you think of something good to say…let it out! It might be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it. You’re flexible like that. Try to remember that we have all kinds of good reasons to encourage each other, but only one good reason to criticize: as a loving service to someone who values our opinion.

The video below is a bit long…around 16 minutes. I found it fascinating when I first saw it, and heartbreaking the second time. So many people need a kind word, and so few give them. Be an encourager. I know you can do it!

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29